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    Philippines and Indonesia Sign Security and Education Agreem


    by NTDTelevision

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    The president of the Philippines is on a two day state visit to Jakarta. It's aimed at boosting cooperation between the neighbors on economy and regional security.

    Philippines president Benigno Aquino met with Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Indonesian presidential palace on Tuesday. Aquino is on a two-day state visit of the country.

    Their agenda covered various issues such as disaster mitigation, sports, terrorism, and marine resources.

    The two leaders also witnessed the signing of agreements by their education ministers and police chiefs.

    [Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesian President]:
    "As ASEAN member countries, we have agreed to boost cooperation in transportation, connectivity, food, energy and tourism."

    The leaders agreed to enhance trade and promote investment between the two countries, and step up security cooperation in fighting terrorism in Southeast Asia.

    Both countries are dealing with Islamist militants engaged in terrorism. A recent spike of religious intolerance in Indonesia shows extremism still has a hold on the world's most populous Muslim nation.

    The Philippine government, on the other hand, is set to hold talks with a Muslim rebel group to end a decades-old insurgency.

    Extremist groups continue to conduct kidnappings and bombings in the southern Philippines.

    [Benigno Aquino, Philippines President]:
    "With enhance our cooperation in so many fields, from protecting the marine environment, to having better efficiency with regards to the security concerns of the region between the Philippines and Indonesia in particular. We have the doubling, perhaps even more, of the efforts that we are doing to combat terrorism."

    Indonesia and the Philippines are both members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which seeks to establish an EU-style economic community by 2015.

    Indonesia is chairing ASEAN this year.